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2 Peter 2:1-11
2 Peter 2:1-11
2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
Intro. In an examination at a Christian school, the teacher asked the following question: “What is false doctrine?” Up went a little boy’s hand, and there came this answer: “It’s when the doctor gives the wrong stuff to people who are sick.” Although the little boy had obviously confused doctrine with doctorin’, he arrived at the correct definition.
No matter what field you may be involved in you want correct information. False information will cause wrong conclusions, wrong actions and worse, wrong results. This is especially true when it comes to your physical health and of course your spiritual health. So many people today are making decisions based on false information. We are flooded with information today and it is critical to sort through the piles of info and determine what is true. Jesus said in John8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Free from what? The results of false information, error, lies, misinformation. Satan understands the importance of truth, God’s truth, so he is working very hard to present false teaching, error, lies to anyone and everyone possible.
J. O. Sanders offers this interesting description of the counterfeit nature of Satan:
Satan has his own trinity the devil, the beast, and the false prophet (Revelation 16:13).
He has his own church, "a synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9).
He has his own ministers, "ministers of Satan" (2 Corinthians 11:4-5).
He has formulated his own system of theology "doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1).
He has established his own sacrificial system; "The Gentiles...sacrifice to demons" (1 Corinthians 10:20).
He has his own communion service, "the cup of demons...and the table of demons" (1 Corinthians 10:21).
His ministers proclaim his own gospel, "a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you" (Galatians 1:7-8).
He has his own throne (Revelation 13:2) and his own worshipers (Revelation 13:4).
So he has developed a thorough imitation of Christianity, viewed as a system of religion.
In his role as the imitator of God, he inspires false Christ, self-constituted messiahs (Matthew 24:4-5).
He employs false teachers who are specialists in his "theology," to bring in "destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them" (2 Peter 2:1). They are adept at mixing truth and error in such proportions as to make error palatable. They carry on their teaching secretly and often in disguise.
He sends out false prophets. "And many false prophets will arise and will mislead many" (Matthew 24:11).
He introduces false brethren into the church, who "had sneaked in to spy out our liberty...in order to bring us into bondage" (Galatians 2:4).
He sponsors false apostles who imitate the true (2 Corinthians 11:13).
J.O. Sanders, Satan is No Myth, Moody, 1975, pp. 35-36
“But there were false prophets also among the people.” Peter is writing to
1. Jewish Christians, and “the people” he is talking about is Israel. There were false prophets among the people of Israel, Peter says, “even as there shall be false teachers among you,” that is, among believers, in the church. There were false prophets in the Old Testament, but there are false teachers today.
2. We do not need to pay any attention to false prophets, but we do need to check false teachers. You need to check all teachers, check what I say by the Word of God. Don’t believe it because I say it.
3. I am amazed today how easily people are deceived by all kinds of teaching. People will fall for anything, and if you do not believe that, you ought to see the elaborate operations and headquarters of some of the cults around the world.
4. A false teacher is one who knows the truth but deliberately lies for some purpose. It is either for some selfish reason, or he wants to please people, or he does it for money. There are many teachers like that today. They preach and say what people want them to say, although they know what the truth is —that is a false teacher.
5. There are other men who teach error ignorantly. Some of the great reformers of the past and some of the great post-apostolic church fathers believed and taught some things which we do not hold to today. We believe they were entirely in error on certain things. Those men were not false teachers. They believed they were teaching the truth, and that does not put them in the category of a false teacher. A false teacher knows what he is doing, and he does it deliberately.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time, their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
1. “And many shall follow their pernicious ways.” False followers will go after false teachers. I do not believe that God’s elect can be permanently deceived.
2. Perhaps God tolerates a lot of the cults and “isms” in order to draw away from the true church that which is false.
3. I believe that if you sincerely are seeking God that the Spirit of God will lead you to the truth.
4. Those who are NOT really seeking God will go after the lies and distortions because it fits their mindset.
5. This is exactly what Paul said would take place: “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1 Cor. 11:19). In other words, the genuine child of God will not go in that direction.
6. The Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and they will not follow a false shepherd” (see John 10:27).
7. When someone buys into the lies of false teachers, they are either ignorantly deceived by lack of knowledge or they are deliberately deceived because that is what they want to believe and what they are comfortable hearing.
8.“feigned or Insincere words”—They will twist things to make them sound good.
9. There are many pastors today that say what their congregations want to hear.
10. This is the reason that neo-orthodoxy, when it first appeared, deceived so many people. People would comment he is sound in the faith because he uses the same language we do.”
11. This is a key point, When false teachers and cults will use the same words we do as believers we think they are on board with us, but they attach a different meaning.
12What is the motivation for these false teachers? Peter identifies the motive as covetous: “ Covetousness is actually a form of idolatry. Sometimes it may be that they are covetous for a position, for a name, for popularity. Many of them are covetous of money.
13. Peter assures us that God will also take care of these false teachers.
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) —
1. Now Peter will give us three examples of apostates in the past. His first example is of the angels who sinned (v. 4) how Satan works.
2. His second example is that of the world of Noah’s day (v. 5), and it is the example of the world.
3. The third example (v. 6) is the turning of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, and that is the example of the flesh.
4. Three ways we are tempted and manipulated to follow false teaching. These are the three enemies we need to be aware of.
5. “The world” does not mean the beautiful flowers, the mountains, the trees, and the sea. It means the world system down that is against God.
6. Peter points out that God in the past has judged angels. The subject of angels and demons is highly debatable and very popular today. In fact, there is too much attention being given to it.
7. I believe that one of Satan’s tricks is to get our attention off of Jesus and on other things, anything but Jesus.
8. Paul does say, “That I may know him [the Lord Jesus], and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…” (Phil. 3:10). It is life eternal to know God, the Father, and the Son, the Lord Jesus, whom He has sent (see John 17:3).
9. Scripture does not instruct us to focus on anything other than Jesus. It is true that we are not to be ignorant of Satan and his devices. We need to beware of him, but we can pay too much attention to him.
10. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned.” No one is exempt from God’s oversight and judgment, not even angels.
12. Although Satan is not in hell, certain of his angels have already been incarcerated. “And delivered them into chains of darkness.” The Greek word for “chains” is seira. Apparently these angels are in pits of darkness.
13. People think of hell as being a place of fire, but this passage says it is darkness. Can you imagine being in darkness for eternity?
14. “To be reserved unto judgment.” They have not yet been judged. The indictment has been made against them. God has declared them guilty, and they are waiting for the judgment to come.
15. Then we have Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly [2 Pet. 2:5]. “And spared not the old world.” In chapter 3 Peter will talk about three worlds—the world that was, the world that is, and the world that is to come.
16. “Bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” The people were religious; they simply left the living and true God out of their religion. They were living as if God didn’t exist at all.
The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished [2 Pet. 2:9].
1. To those who believe that the church is going through the Great Tribulation Period, I would like to say that God knows how to deliver His own. You may not know how, but God knows how. He also knows how “to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”
2. God knows the difference between the godly and the unjust.
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption [2 Pet. 2:12]. “But these, as natural brute beasts.”
1. These apostates are like wild animals. We are told that man has descended from an animal, but both the Old and New Testaments make it very clear that man is capable of living lower than the animals.
2. They are natural wild animals, “made to be taken and destroyed” just like an animal is taken. They’ve descended to that low plane and have reached the place where they are hopeless and helpless.
3. They “speak evil of the things that they understand not.” What Peter is saying of false teachers can also be applied to many others.
4. I have been surprised over and over how smart men who are not Christians can be totally blind in understanding the Word of God. There have been many brilliant men in the past who have attempted to explain the Scriptures, but could not explain what the Word of God is about.
5. Let me give you an example. William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament, was an alcoholic and lived a very fast life until he meant Jesus. He wanted his friend, Edmund Burke, to hear one of the great preachers of Scotland, hoping he would embrace Jesus as he did. So when they were up in Scotland, he took Burke to hear this preacher. Afterward, he was interested to get Burke’s reaction to the sermon. His reaction was very simple, and it revealed the fact that the natural man cannot understand the things of God. Burke said, “That man is a brilliant orator, but what was he talking about?” Edmund Burke, one of the great English statesman, when he heard a gospel message, said, “I don’t even know what he is talking about!” Also I was very much interested to read recently something about a great denomination in this country, a church that down through the years has preached justification by faith. They made a survey and found that 40 percent of their members believe they are saved by their own works. How tragic it is to see that people do not understand the gospel!
Conclusion: There is a beautiful and important scene in the movie Dr. Zhivago. The Comrade General is talking with Tanya. He asks her, How did you come to be lost?" She replies, "Well, I was just lost." He asks again, "No, how did you come to be lost?" Tanya doesn't want to say. She says simply, "I was just lost. My father and I were running through the city and it was on fire. The revolution had come and we were trying to escape and I was lost."
The Comrade General asked more emphatically, "How did you come to be lost?" She still didn't want to say. Finally she responded and said. "We were running through the city and my father let go of my hand, we were separated and I got lost." Then she added plaintively, "He let go." This is what she didn't want to say.
The Comrade General said, "This is what I've been trying to tell you, Tanya. Komarov was not your real father. Zhivago is your real father and I can promise you, Tanya, that if this man had been there, your real father, he would never have let go of your hand."
That is the difference between a real father and a false father, is it not? A real father would never let go of his daughter's hand. That is also the difference between our God and a false one.
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